web analytics
April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Q & A: What Constitutes Shemot (Part I)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Share Button

“The Gemara Sofrim, Chap. 4:1 and the Yerushalmi Rosh Hashana itemize seven names of G-d which must not be erased (or thrown away). The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 14) counts and itemizes 70 names pertaining to G-d which must be treated with respect.

“Our Gaonim and Poskim now go into the various versions of the name of G-d and the Halacha is as follows:

“The Shach in the Yoreh Dayeh 179:11 says: ‘The name of G-d is holy only in Hebrew but in a secular language it is not considered as the true name of G-d, and you are allowed to erase the name if it appears in secular languages such as Polish, Russian, etc.

“ ‘However,’ the Shach continues, ‘I say that in advance (Lachatchila) we should be careful as much as possible, but when it can’t be helped, it can’t be helped.’

“The Beth Yosef (Tur Yoreh Dayeh 276) quotes the Rashbatz that if one wrote the name of G-d without having the intention of holiness, then it isn’t holy and one may erase it.

“The Beth Lechem Yehuda (Yoreh Dayeh 276:10) agrees with this view especially if it’s in a secular language, such as English, but if it’s intended for a holy purpose then we aren’t allowed to erase it (or discard it). But coins which bear the name of G-d are not intended for a holy purpose; therefore we are permitted to discard them.

“The Noda B’Yehuda (Shailos and Tshuvos, Tannina, Yoreh Dayeh 181) was angry at people who inscribed the name of G-d on the holy ark and he said that we should avoid the use of the Holy Name any place.

“The Pischei Teshuva (Yoreh Dayeh 276:13) also opposes the custom of engraving the name of G-d on candelabras.

“The Aruch HaShulchan (Yoreh Dayeh 276) quotes the Rama and other Poskim who claim that the name of G-d which appears in our Siddurim in the form of two letters ‘Yud’ may be erased if necessary, for the real name is spelled with four letters (Jeho-a).

“He also quotes the Tashbatz that if the name is used in different languages it is not considered the true name of G-d and if necessary they may be erased. ‘However,’ he concludes, ‘even in another language we must be very careful, and warn women and laymen who write out the name of G-d, that though it may not be holy, it is still prohibited. Because if we discard it or throw it into a trash basket, it will put the Holy Name to shame and therefore many great people prohibit writing out G-d’s name in full.’

“The Aruch HaShulchan (Choshen Mishpat 27:3) continues as follows: ‘Many great people have complained at the custom of writing letters and using the name of G-d, regardless of whether written in Hebrew or in a foreign language, because these letters are discarded and G-d’s name is put to shame, causing poverty to descend on the world due to the lack of respect for G-d.

“Our Sages once created a holiday when the Israelites stopped using G-d’s name in deeds and contracts, because when the loan was repaid then the contract was thrown into the rubbish (Rosh Hashana 18b).

“Therefore, we should all be very careful never to use the full name of G-d in letters and if it is written then the name of G-d should be cut out and hidden before you discard the letter (or the book).”

(To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Q & A: What Constitutes Shemot (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Mock Eviction Notice shoved under the doors of students' rooms in predominantly Jewish NYU dorm by NYU SJP.
NYU Latest Site of Anti-Israel Mock Eviction Notices
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Hanoch Teller

People expectantly go through their lives awaiting the event that will make them happy.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

In disbelief the doctors said it was not their doing but rather a true miracle that such a choleh could survive this illness.

Yahrzeit Candle

The challenge of death is to keep the person who has died alive in spirit.

Lessons-Emunah-logo

I vowed that when I would grow up, I would speak Yiddish to my kinderlach and I would move to “a place called Crown Heights.”

The very act of learning in rabbinic Judaism is conceived as active debate, a kind of gladiatorial contest of the mind.

Rabbi Fohrman explains how the Torah provides the building blocks of true love.

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/what-constitutes-shemot-part-i/2012/02/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: